Route: 476-miles with mostly ocean on one side and coastline on the other
Time: 2 days. You could do it in one, but two will be more enjoyable
Roads: Pavement the whole way
Google Maps full route guide: HERE
Getting to know Oregon and the captivating coastline can only be made more enjoyable by laying down some tread and stopping to see all the beautiful highlights along the way. Food, fun, and photo opportunities, this route has it all. The Oregon coastline drive is an excellent motorbike route for a weekend getaway or as part of an extended tour around the nation.
Image: Japonese Garden Koi Pond
Portland City Stops
The coastal part of this drive runs from Astoria, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Columbia River in the North, then to Brookings, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Chetco River in the South of Oregon. If you are coming from anywhere in Oregon it will likely be Portland, so will start from there before working our way South.
When you’re in Portland, oddly, one of the best things to do is to make yourself feel like you are nowhere near Portland at all. A must stop if you are passing through the city is the Japanese Gardens. The Gardens sit on 12 acres of stunning and serene property in Washington Park, in the west hills of Portland. On-site you can enjoy a walk through the gardens, a visit to the Koi pond, a stop at the Japanese tea village to enjoy one of the art exhibitions on display. Entry is under $20, and you could see it in an hour or enjoy it in a day.
Another option if you’re looking to get some ideas for your next home build, or want to learn another side of Portland’s historical scene, is with a visit to the Pittock Mansion. The mansion was built between 1909 and 1914 for business tycoon Henry Pittock. The 46-room residence was built for Henry and his wife, and the odd over-night guest, if they had space. During your visit, you can take a tour of the estate, and its 46-acre property, gardens, and the beautiful view over Portland.
For those of you just wanting to grab a coffee and hit the road, but enjoy a unique experience none the less. Well, Portland’s got you covered too! Check out ToV coffee & tea. You can park your bike out front, and step inside Portland’s only double-decker coffee bus to warm up and relax. Not just the only double-decker bus, it’s also Portland’s only Egyptian and Turkish coffee house. A unique coffee experience that you’re not soon to forget. Try one of their specialty Turkish coffees, it even comes with a Turkish delight!
Image: tovcoffee.com The ToV Turkish Coffee Bus
Portland to Astoria – 95 miles
Whatever you choose, it’s sure to be a memorable day around Portland. When you’re done in the city head out on the 30, following the Columbia River and make your way up to Astoria. Once here your coastline riding options open up you can enjoy some sea breezes the majority of this drive. Astoria itself has some interesting stops, and some might even touch on an emotional nerve depending on what generation you grew up watching television.
For anyone who enjoyed the 90’s, well Astoria would be your Goonies pilgrimage! Goonies was filmed in and around Astoria, and you can stop by to see the jail and take a little tour. The home, however, is privately owned and there are some warnings not to stop and take pictures. With the right camera lens though, you could probably get some shots of people cautiously going about there daily business in a house that doesn’t look so much different than any other home on the block. Easiest though would be to stop by the Oregon film museum and take in all the Goonies memorabilia there.
If you’re not into Goonies, which would be shocking but possible, one of the fantastic landmark stops in Astoria is the Astoria Column. This 125-foot column is painted with 14-significant events that happened in the area. Some of those include Lewis and Clarks expedition, as well as the discovery of the Columbia River. You can walk up the 600-foot hill and 125-foot column for a towering view over the area. There is a $5 parking fee that will cover your time here.
Image: camp18restaurant.com Just LOOK at those cinnimon buns
Astoria – Camp 18 – Cannon Beach 61 miles
Leaving Astoria heading South down the 101 coastline drive, it won’t be long before the first suggest detour of this drive. Just 18-miles off the 101 is the aptly names Camp-18 restaurant.
The restaurant is the areas landmark stopping point and serves up breakfast, lunch, dinner, buffets, and their claim to fame cinnamon buns that look like hubcaps off a Tonka truck! The ambiance of the place is logging based, as a reflection of the area and its logging history. This makes for giant gnarled tables, wood fireplaces, antler chandeliers, and meals to feed a lumberjack.
Online reviews are well over a thousand and still score close to 5-stars. If you think you can eat like a lumberjack or just want to make a giant cinnamon bun your cheat-day eating item, well their up for the challenge of making you happy. There is also a logging-based museum of sorts here if you want to pine over the details of the area.
Once they roll you out the door of Camp-18 and you waddle your way back onto your motorcycle, you might want to take a little walk and try to offset your 4000-calorie lunch. Turn around and head back towards the 101 and down to Cannon Beach. Here you can stop by the beautiful beach, stroll along, and take some stunning photos with the Haystack Rock as your backdrop. It makes for great photos, and if you don’t mind getting your feet wet, you can walk out to the rock too. Motorcycle parking in the area should be easy to find.
Image: tillamook creamery A look at some of their products you may have see in stores
Cannon Beach – Tillamook Creamery – Yaquina Lighthouse – 107miles
If you’re looking for something cheesier than your uncles jokes, you best drop the kickstand and stop by the Tillamook Creamery. Roughly 38-miles from the Cannon Beach stop will bring you to the creamiest of ice cream, cheesiest of cheddars, and butter that’s really churning heads! Here at the Tillamook Creamery you can take a tour and learn how the farm operates, sample their wide variety of unique dairy products, and give you the option to pick up some sweet cow-related schwag. Unless you’re lactose intolerant, don’t miss it!
Image: mattman80 via Google A beautiful sight, the Yaquina Lighthouse
Back on your bike and back on the road, the next notable stop on your coastal drive is going to be the Yaquina Lighthouse stop and Cobble Beach. Roughly 70-miles from the Tillamook Creamery, and just before Newport, you’ll be treated to beautiful ocean views at the Yaquina Lighthouse. The lighthouse was first light on August 20th, 1873 and stands a towering 93-feet tall. Onsite you can take a tour with the interpretive center or just walk around on your own. On your way in or way out, you’ll also want to stop at Cobble beach. You can walk around here and enjoy the views, there are usually seals lounging around that make for great photos.
Image:@branden_tucker A day at the dunes. If you’ve got a spare sand tire use it. Otherwise you might need a rental.
Yaquina Lighthouse – Oregon Dunes Recreation – Sunset Beach – 106 miles
Depending on the bike you’re riding and what kind of excitement you’re after, about 75-miles South of Cobble beach is the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.
These substantial sand dunes are oddly held on both sides by water. You can leave the riverside then come cresting over a dune to see the Pacific Ocean staring back at you. There is tonnes of off-roading action, rentals, camping, hiking and general fun in the park area. If your bike is up for it, take in some dune riding. If not then rent a sand-orientated OHV and take on some sandy fun.
Just 35-miles up the road is another great option for a detour, depending on what all you want to enjoy while you’re there. Just after the McCullough memorial bridge, that lands you in North Bend. Turn West on Newmarket Street and follow that road out to Sunset beach. On this side road, you can follow the Cape Argo Highway to loop around the tip of the Cape Argo State Park then backtrack.
On the way you can stop at the Simpson Reef Overlook and do some more seal-searching, then stay at Sunset Beach to watch the sunset. Or if you’re here a bit earlier, you can hike from here out to the Cape Argo Lighthouse. It’s a good mix of exploration, hiking, excellent photo opportunities and looking for wildlife. A great way to spend an hour or three before getting back on the road.
Image: The Crazy Norwegian’s Crazy Restaurant
Sunset Beach – Port Orford – Brookings – 107 miles
Being so close to the sea, you should wind this route down with a bit of seafood. An excellent place that will be high on your list of memorable locations is The Crazy Norwegians Fish and Chips restaurant.
Located sea-side in Port Orford, this quirky little joint serves up sumptuous seafood from scratch. As per the title, they have well-reviewed fish and chips along with fresh chowders and homemade pies. Whether you’re popping in to warm up and grab a chowder, or parking your bike to enjoy the fish and chips outside and take in the sea views. You’ll be happy with the ocean ambiance and fabulous food. Check TripAdvisor, so you know what you’re getting into. The reviews rave, and the owners sound like a crazy bunch indeed.
While the Oregon coastal ride wraps up, you’ll make your way into the most southerly stop on this drive. Brookings Oregon is a cute seaside city of around 6500 residents, and your arrival should be met with a personal congratulations as the final stop on this Oregon coastal drive.
Treat yourself to some small town atmosphere with big city smiles at the Chetco Brewing Company. Order yourself up a Snickle Fritz Marzen Oktoberfest Ale, then down it, order another and try and say the beers name three times without spitting in your partners face or just flat out laughing! All in all, it will be a welcome finally to the coastal road. Brookings has plenty of sleeping and eating options if you are looking to have more than a couple celebration brews for the night.
All in, the Oregon coastal drive is an excellent way to view some of the states rich diversity. Whether you like watching the sunset on the beach, taking your bike sand dune riding, or just sitting back and enjoying a warm bowl of clam chowder fresh from the ocean you’re peering out into, Oregon can offer it all. Get out and get riding around Oregon and you won’t be disappointed.